tv Inside Politics CNN July 25, 2017 9:00am-10:00am PDT
welcome to "inside politics." i'm john king. thanks for sharing your day with us. it is a day of crackling tension here in the nation's capital. president trump again publicly mocks his attorney general hoping, white house aides say, he will take the hint. a new shot at the fbi director, too. profound frustration and disgust with the boss' management style. the president's son-in-law back before congressional investig e investigato investigators. this a day after a rare public statement in which he denied any contacts with russia's vladimir putin as improper. and a defining day for the republican party brand. a test vote in the senate today over obamacare. how big a deal? john mccain days removed from a
brain cancer diagnosis returns to washington for the gop's moment of truth. with us to share reporting and insights, jackie kucinich of the daily beast, michael warren, and margaret talon and malika henderson. senate set to gather at any moment now. mitch mcconnell will call for a vote in what the senate call as motion to proceed. motion to proceed to debate on the house gop health care bill. even though there are no guarantees he has the votes to move forward. no guarantee he has the votes, even to begin this debate. cnn congressional correspondent phil mattingly is following all this on capitol hill. a lot of chaos around town including right there in the capitol. still questions. what exactly are they proceeding on? >> reporter: on the first still, they still don't know. don't have commitments of 50 yes votes from senators as of yet. walk you behind the scenes. very important. in a few short minutes senator
mitch mcconnell will lay out what's going forward. the strategy, leadership circulating a proposal based on if they are able to pass this procedural vote today and move to debate the order of amendments as they would come. hoping, this presented at a easy cloed-door lunch here in about 45 minutes, basically giving every senator at least a shot at what they want. vote on the 2015 repeal-only bill. likely expected to fail. then a third iteration of the senate draft that failed two times prior, with an addition of $100 billion in money for medicaid senators like rob portman, shelley moore capito, lisa murkowski and a fuller inclusion of the so-called cruz amendment related to regulations that mike lee and senator ted cruz called for. that would likely fail and more importantly also subject to a 0-vote threshold. then vote likely on an already kind of killed version of that, kind of senate draft bill.
the 2.0 version, and once that went down, as expected to, because we already know senators are opposed to that, then come up with what they're calling a skinny repeal. essentially a pared back voergen of obamacare hoping that that min ma' minimal effort gets them into the house to hammer out the remainder of details. as i explain, you recognize hoar convoluted and complicated this process is. senators, if they go through this process, it's clear, the end game, simply get to conference with the house, nobody voting on a final product that answers all of their questions or gives them all they want or basically accedes to all their concerns, bringing us back to the reality of, can they get 50 votes? rand paul said based on the strategy i laid out he will willing to vote yes on the motion to proceed. essentially down to a handful of senators. who to watch when that opens up. dean heller, lisa murkowski,
shelley moore capito, jerry moran, and rob portman. >> phil, i'm sorry to interrupt you. the majority leader has started speaking and talking about the dramatic return today of john mccain. >> -- again evidenced by his quick return to the senate this afternoon. i know he's eager to get back to work, and we're all very pleased to have him back with us today. now, mr. president, on the vote that we'll have today, just a couple of hours, senators will have an important decision to make. seven years after obamacare was imposed on our country, we will vote on the critical first step to finally move beyond its failures. many of us have made commitments to constituents to provide relief from this failed left wing experiment. and now we have a real opportunity to keep those commitments by voting to begin
middle-class families have felt under obamacare but it actually committed to doing something about it. by now we've all, we're all keenly aware of the pain that obamacare has caused for literally millions of families. premiums have skyrocketed. doubling on average in the vast majority of states on the federal exchange. insurance options have declined under obamacare leaving many with as few as one or even zero insurers to choose from. many americans now face the real possibility of having no options at all. and can find themselves trapped, forced by law to purchase obamacare insurance but left by obamacare without any means to do so. all the while markets continue to collapse under obamacare and states across the country, it's a troubling indication of what's to come, unless we act. fortunately, the american people have granted us the opportunity to do so.
we finally have an administration that cares about those suffering under obamacare's faciilures and a president to do something about it. we have a house that recently passed its own legislation to help address these problems and a senate with a great chance before us to do our part now. if other senators agree and join me in voting yes on the motion to proceed, we can move one step closer to sending legislation to the president for his signature. i hope everyone will seize the moment. i certainly will. only then can we open up a robust debate process. only then will senators have the opportunity to offer additional ideas on health care, inaction will do nothing to solve obamacare's problems or bring relief to those who need it. in fact, it will make things
worse for our constituents all across the country. i'd like to reiterate what the president said yesterday. any senator who votes against starting debate is telling america that you're just fine with the obamacare nightmare. that's a position that even democrats have found hard to defend. remember, president clinton called obamacare the craziest thing in the world. and a democratic governor said it's no longer affordable. you won't hear me say this often, but they're right. so i hope colleagues will consider obamacare's history of failures, the unaffordable costs, the xscarce choices, burden on middle-class families as they cast their vote this afternoon. i urge them to remember the families who are hurting under this collapsing law. numerous kentuckians, like so many others across the nation, have conveyed their
heartbreaking stories with my office or phone calls, letters, meetings and dozens of health care forums all across kentucky. these families are suffering under obamacare. they need relief. i'll be thinking about them as i vote to proceed to the bill today. and i know many other colleagues will do the same. our constituents are hurting under obamacare. they are counting on us to do the right thing right now. that means voting to allow the senate to finally move beyond obamacare's failures. that's what i intend to do. that's what i urge every colleague to do. we can do better than obamacare. we have a responsibility to the american people to do that. today's vote, to begin debate, is the first step. and we should take it. mr. president, i suggest a quorum. >> without objection. clerk will call the roll. >> mr. alexander? senator majority leader
calling the senator to order with a speech first paying tribute to john mccain, his courage in coming back to washington for a big health care vote today days after being diagnosed with brain cancer. then senator mcconnell laying the stakes in his view the vote the senate takes this afternoon knowing full well he is the majority leader, 52 republicans at this moment he is not sure he has the 50 votes to begin this debate. that in and of itself is stunning. this is a seven-year republican promise to repeal and replace obamacare. majority leader, republican leader of the united states senate doesn't know if he has the votes to go forward. we'll watch the floor see if democrats respond. a public statement by mitch mcconnell calling it a failed left-wing experiment telling conservatives you can't buck me on this one. you have to stay with me. the biggest test for mr. mcconnell is not the public remarks, he also embraced the president with whom he had an awkward relationship. even the president wants you to do this, too. now a private lunch with republican senators who have still the policy differences we've talked about for weeks and
weeks and months. still some political issues we've talked about for months and months. can mitch mcconnell on a defining day for him and the republican party get them at least to start this? >> it's an open question. it really is at this point. >> how can that be? stunning -- >> it is. mitch mcconnell has a reputation as being the master of the senate to borrow the title. but he's running up against these senators who be hearing from constituents who have states that are in dire need of funding, who are very much tied to this bill and can't get -- not get out from under it, but don't want to creed tede the be. loyal to the party and what they're hearing from constituents. a tough vote for a lot of people. >> if anybody can do it it's probably mitch mcconnell. probably not president trump. if you talk to republicans on the fence on capitol hill, that speech yesterday that he made
probably didn't have much impact, but there is sort of extraordinary xesschedules on t fence republicans are considering, thinking about. which is, there is no text for an actual bill. no hearings in 2017. no cbo score or resolution. on the bird rule. none of the process issen 0 the open here and probably have a lot more buy-in if mcconnell had started this open and ended up, really, at the end saying, we're going to scrap this bird rule and try to get something done with just a bair re majority. >> imploded on them in the house. a rough process, finally a bill through the house. apologies for interrupting phil mattingly when the leader took the floor. as you heard phil, vote on one plans conservatives like even
though it's going to fail. why do these things? mr. mcconnell is trying to, you want this, you want this. they're all going to lose and then try to pass a shell. just pass a shell for, to process america to get in a debate with the house. negotiations with the house and then essentially start this all over again. can we come up with a final product? >> somewhere between three and four procedural hurdles to get to the point they have an actual possibility of passing something, but before the moment, i just think we should consider the emotional sort of majesty of today. >> right. >> john mccain as leader mcconnell began to talk about, comes back in, you know, what can only be described as an incredibly poignant moment. we'll hear from him later today. he and he alone will be able to set the emotional parameters of this debate and the question of reopening the debate. and perhaps some of the policy parameters as well. and for him, this is an
incredibly complicated thing, because not only is he dealing with health issues himself, which goes to the narrative about what kind of health coverage can you get? can you get the best doctors? >> forgive me. chuck schumer, democratic leader on the floor rebutting senator mcconnell. >> no one knows the plan cooked up in the republican leader's office, but it seems to be his intention to do whatever it takes to pass anything, no matter how small, to get the house and senate republicans into a conference on health care. surprisingly, i've heard that my friend the junior senator from kentucky will vote yes on the motion to proceed. he announced it himself. it's true he'll likely get a vote on the motion to repeal without replace, but surely he knows that will fail. why, then, would the junior senator from kentucky, a man who has preached repeal of the affordable care act root and branch, a man proselytized the republicans should stop at nothing short of full repeal?
why would the junior senator from kentucky vote on the motion to proceed knowing he won't get what he wants? it's because, i believe, that he and some of the others in this body know that if the senate manages to pass something to get to conference in the house, the likely compromise in the house, in the conference, is either a full repeal of the affordable care act or something close to it. it will certainly mean drastic cuts in medicaid, huge tax cuts for the rich. no help for those with pre-existing conditions. and millions and millions losing health care. particularly in our poorer and more rural states. that's the only thing that our republicans have been able to agree on. the hard right freedom caucus in the house would never accept a
republican bill that only repeals a few regulations in the aca believes much of it in place. no. they want full repeal and add minimum, deep, deep cuts to medicaid. huge, huge tax breaks for the wealthy. and millions, millions, in every state in this nation losing their health care. to my republican friends who have repeatedly said that full repeal without replace would be a disaster, to my republican friends who have opposed the deep and drastic cuts to medicaid, i say to you -- don't be fooled by this roos. a vote in favor of the motion to proceed will mean deep cuts to medicaid. maybe even deeper than in the house bill. it will mean people with
pre-existing conditions will be left high and dry. it will mean huge tax breaks for the wealthiest of americans. it will mean millions will lose their coverage. so all of the complaining, while we're here at this late moment, because even the house bill was too drastic for many of the members here is now being ignored on this motion to proceed. because we all know, we all know the roost that's going on. the roost is send it back to the house and then we'll see wa they send us. we know what they'll send us. we may not know every detail. it will either be full repeal without replace, or something far too close to that. and all of the work, all of the
anguish that so many of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have shown in the last several weeks will be wasted. because they know darn well what's going to happen and when there's a conference. there are no democratic votes in the house. the freedom caucus calls the shots. they will either ask for full repeal or something very close to it. so make no mistake about it. a vote in favor of the motion to proceed this afternoon will be permission, a permission slip, to slash medicaid, hurt milli s millions, and raise taxes on the wealthy. something the vast majority of americans in every state -- a large, large percentage of republicans and trump voters
abh abhor. one last plea to my colleagues. did not fall for the roost that the majority leader is putting together. we know what's going on. we all know. our constituents won't be fooled. oh, no. we on this side are not fooled. oh, no. and i hope moo e colleagues out of compassion and care for the people in their states have made such a fuss up to now won't be fooled either. on another matter, mr. president, in recent days president trump has gone out of his way to undermine his own attorney general, his first supporter, but which has been reported to be his best friend in the senate. he has tweeted skinninging criticism of attorney general
sessions, chastised himself publicly for recusing himself from the russia investigation and several other perceived failures in the eyes of the president. we should all take a moment to think how shocking these are on a human basis. this is the first person who stuck his neck out for donald trump. with him through thick and thin, and now even if the president has disagreement with him, which are unfounded self-centered and wrong, you don't ridicule him in public. someone who is your close friend? that speaks to character. but i would like to speak to the major issue before us which is related. it's clear that president trump is trying to bully his own attorney general out
of office. how can anyone draw a different conclusion?
if president trump had serious criticisms of his attorney general, why not talk to him in person? why air his grievances so publicly? he wants him out. here's the danger -- many americans must be wondering if the president is trying to pry open the office of attorney general to appoint someone during the august recess who will fire special counsel mueller and shut down the russian investigation. first let me state for the record now before this scheme gains wings, democrats will never go along with the recess appointment if that situation arises. we have some tools in our toolbox to stymie such action. we're ready to use every single one of them. any time, day or night. it's so vital to the future of the republic. and, second, i cannot imagine my
friends on the republican side, particularly in the republican leadership. my friend the majority leader. who i have great respect for, and speaker ryan. i can't imagine they would be complicit in creating a constitutional crisis. they
must work with us and not open the door to a constitutional crisis during the august recess. one last item, mr. president. i know there's a lot going on today. but i just want to mention one item from the house of representatives. later the house is going to take up and hopefully pass with near unanimity a sanctions bill that includes strong sanctions against russia, iran, north korea. it's critical the senate act promptly on this legislation. >> you're living to democratic leader chuck schumer, urging once the house passes a russia
sanctions bill, that vote could come today, urging the congress to take it up immediately. imposing new sanctions on russia, north korea and one test for the president. senator schumer talking about two defines tests playing out in washington today. he started with health care. challenging republicans not to proceed to an obamacare repeal debate. that big vote later today. senator schumer essentially saying republicans want to pass something to get into negotiations with the house. he says those negotiations will end up cutting billions from medicaid, throwing millions off their health insurance and urging republican senators not to vote. he understands republican the at this moment don't have the vote. and then senator schumer move on to another big challenge. the president's constant attacks on his attorney general. essentially chuck schumer, you heard him saying the president wants jeff sessions to go. clear in saying that the democrats would block any recess appointment during the summer recess and saying he hoped that the republican leadership would
not be "complicit" in a constitutional crisis. come into the room. a dramatic day. you have big dramas playing out. literally a defining challenge for the republican party. can they keep the obamacare debate going? but also the president's attacks on the attorney general and the things said by people in the trump inner circle about the attorney general. about how the president wants him to go. it's just one of these days this town is grabbing attention. >> and daily news reported sessions has no intention of going anywhere. there seems to be a fundamental misunderstanding what the attorney general does. the attorney general isn't there to protect the president. but that's not -- that's not what they do. they're there to protect the constitution. >> and nor is the attorney general there to go after the president's political ends. right? what he is essentially faulting jeff sessions for not doing saying he's weak because he didn't go after hillary clinton's crimes. never mind that donald trump himself at some -- a couple
months ago said that he didn't want to go after, didn't think that they should go after hillary clinton even though that was something he said during the -- during the campaign. well, also interesting here is if you're a republican you are seeing how this president treats people who have been loyal to him. right? but yet this is a president and a party, party leadership asking for loyalty from people, republicans, in terms of health care. so it's -- i mean, it's interesting that chuck schumer linked those two things. right? health care and then talking about jeff sessions and the treatment of sessions and how the president essentially is trashing this person who had been very loyal to him. >> whether youy glee or disagree with jeff sessions, clever messaging. republicans for three of the last election cycle, obamacare, worked to advantage. democrats winning the political argument so far this cycle. arg gumt about jeff sessions linking the republican party saying the president is trying to drag you into a mess. don't let it happen.
>> and, you know, anthony scaramucci, incoming communications director, kind of already started, there a lot. a pretty good way to tap into trump's brain and understand what he's thinking so far, and told a group of us outside the white house just earlier this morning that he expects the tension or the situation with general sessions and the president to be resolved soon. nobody knows what that means. but the president's feeling is the cabinet member should have his back, and that is a fundamental problem. i mean, if that's what the president wants, because that can't be what the attorney general does. >> a perfectly rational argument for the secretary of 9 interior and secretary of energy to have the president's back meaning institute the president's policy, protect the president politically. the attorney general is a schedule carveout in the cabinet because of this job. chief of law enforcement. a quick break. a reez here. a lot going on in town. the president attacking his attorney general without doubt
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more now on that important washington drama you just heard the senate democratic leader chuck schumer talking about on the senate floor today. the president calling him very weak. yesterday it was, beleaguered. now it's no secret for weeks president trump is mad at attorney general st.j. jeff sessiattorney general jeff
sessions, and this is meant to send a message. the president is raising names as potential replacements and the new chief says maybe the attorney general should get the hint. >> it's clear the president wants him gone. >> i have an enormous amount of respect for the attorney general, but i do know the president pretty well, ant there's this level of tension in the relationship, that that's public, you're probably right, but i don't want to speak for the president on that. >> he doesn't want to speak for the president on that. cnn senior white house correspondent jeff zeleny, but he is speaking for the president on that. remarkable. no secret for some time, there's tension between the president and the attorney general, but the public criticism repeated in the last week to ten days and the public humiliation of the attorney general. the president wants him to quit. he's not, doesn't appear he's going to. then what? >> reporter: john that is a great question and i think the new communications director anthony scaramucci will realize
the difference between working for the president versus being a con hitter on television. he is indeed speaking for the president. a different moment in this. we've seen donald trump, president trump, pick fights with so many people over his presidential campaign and during his time here in office, john. jeff sessions, the attorney general, he's liked by the base. he has a major conservative following. look at the story right now on breitbart.com, of course, the leading bible on the right here, it is siding with jeff sessions on this. not president trump. largely because of what the attorney general brings to the immigration agenda. so this is a fight the president is picking with his attorney general over the, via decision to recuse himself in the russia investigati investigation, but conservatives on capitol hill elsewhere see it differently and in fact are coming to the attorney general's aid here. john what is about to happen in the next several hours is anyone's guess. no playbook for this specifically, but we know the president will be asked about this specifically at 3:00 this
afternoon when he has that brief, press conference, in the rose garden, and he -- i'm told by one adviser, fk in fact, thee not sure what he'll say. call for the firing? probably not. if he was going to do that he would have done it by now. this is a different president. again, he's picking a fight with someone his base actually likes. not a traditional bully the president is picking on here. it's different. we'll see what the attorney general is going to say. john, it's also leaking into the health care vote as well here. republican senators see jeff sessions as one of their own. john? >> jeff zeleny at the white house. keep us posted. an ever-changing story that's developing. dana bash spoke with a few senior republican senators in the last hour told her the president's treatment of sessions could be complicating the effort on health care. their argument, former colleague and so loyal to trump, out there early on trump's side. if he treats him this way, doesn't have his back, publicly
he mill yates him, why should they take a risky vote for the president expecting him to politically protect them down the road? they won't bet on that. reporting this caused a chill across the trump camp that other cabinet secretaries to the same point, jeff sessions, the first, jeff sessions and the president like this. publicly humiliate, attack him throw him under the bus repeatedly, what about them? what about them? >> yes. you heard what he sort of jokingly said about tom price at that boy scout jamboree in west virginia. basically said, if you can't get the votes on health care then you'll be fired. ordinarily a president wouldn't say that, but even if they did, if it was a different president it would be a joke. given donald trump's kind of record here of turning on people and being disloyal, and nome that, it's not tom price's job to put votes on health care and also goes to show who donald trump is prepared to blame if this thing goes down.
certainly not himself, but everybody around him in the republican party. >> no surprise to anyone in the senate. look what he did to the house? celebrating with them about health care. talked about it before. the next week, said that the bill was mean. if senators are shocked by this, they're not paying attention. because he's already done this. >> what i try to do especially on this subject, excellent point. get to the broader trump management style. broader trump demands loyalty of others, doesn't show much to them in return. seems transactional when it comes to policy. the health care bill is great when i need a rose garden ceremony. somebody briefs me on it, it's mean and i don't like it. carve out a special space for the attorney general. again, this is not a fight with your energy secretary, not saying he has one, but it's not a fight with anybody at a department head over policy or over style. this is a fight with the attorney general of the united states. when the president, read your constitution at home, folks. when the president attacks the attorney general, also this morning also tweeted out attacking the acting fbi
director, who is providing the resources to the special counsel investigation, i don't care whether you're a democrat, republican, independent, study the basics of the constitution. that's way across the line. >> the practical implications as well. things the president hasn't thought about. we've been talking about all the political implications of this, but you do have a situation where, okay. if jeff sessions resigns or the president does end up deciding to fire him, we talked about earlier. what happens then? what candidate, what nominee, would get through the senate? would there be in expectations that that nominee sort of shut down the mueller investigation? you open up this whole sort of can of worms out of this. remember where this all started. last week in that "new york times" interview that the president decided, i want to get this out there, that jeff sessions is making me mad about this. it seems that every step of the way since he's simply been building on the anger and the
chaos that's ensued. >> very unfair to the president twice. >> he wanted that to get out. recuse himself i wouldn't have given him the job. again, the attorney general is supposed to uphold the law of the land of the constitution, not defend the president. to that point, brought in a new communications director, you just heard him saying, mr. attorney general listen to what the president is trying to tell you. he wants you to quit. no other way to translate that. jeff sessions, i'm told people inside the white house are reaching out to jeff sessions. not so quicked. and others, trump on the -- listening to anthony scaramucci here more on a show talking about where it gets strange what is the job of the attorney general? different from any other cabinet secretary. this is the chief law enforcement officer for the united states. anthony scaramucci says the president seems to think a little different. >> you and i might get at odds with our holder politically, but one of the things i would give him a lot of credit for is that he was a pretty good hockey goalie for the president but i
think when you think about the reship john f. kennedy had with his brother at attorney general or the president with eric holder, president obama, they probably don't have that sort of relationship. the president, thinking about the architecture of his cabinet, i think he needs that sort of relationship there. >> now, eric holder, or bobby kennedy, long gone, would dispute the characterization they twisted the law to protect the president or ignored the law to protect the president. we'll have that debate another day. not trying to -- not that i'm defending obama. not defending obama or saying a different characterization of that, but the idea the white house communications director thinks the president thinks the attorney general's job is to play hockey goalie. to protect him. if the president has nothing to worry about, if this is a hoax, then why is he worried? why? why? why doesn't he give bob mueller -- ask him to triple his staff and get this the hell over with, if he has nothing to hide? >> two candidates inside the
would us that want the candidate to keep attorney general sessions there and overlap between them. one camp thinks that attorney general sessions is going after the right stuff. whether immigration or drugs or whatever. that is, ideological conservative and that ideologically wants the same policies they do. there's the other camp. again, quite a bit's overlap that just thinks the president inadvertently may be puts himself in more legal jeopardy, making himself for vulnerable. as a result, all of them are vulnerable like playing with fire. a difficult line to walk up to. if jeff sessions decided on his own to go, that's one thing. to take an effort to push him out is an entirely different thing to your point. this was a big criticism conservatives had of the obama justice department. that it was too political. are we hearing the same message from conservatives no you? i don't think -- the message is so shifted. in a way i think jeff sessions really acted in the president's best interests to recuse
himself. the president doesn't see it that way. >> interesting. often when the president is in a controversy, his base and his piece of the media, slice of the media cheers. even when the republican leadership gets this, that love that. the trump base loves poking paul ryan and mitch mcconnell. listen to this on breitbart. what can be certain, sessions ouster would be a blow to the nationalist populist underpinnings of the wider trump move moneyment not only sessionses the first u.s. sitting senator to endorse trump for president, he and his staff establishing the framework which would become trumpism. >> and lindsey graham essentially agreeing. came out with a statement saying this is highly inappropriate. the president trashing sessions. that's a shift in terms of where see -- >> one things president has been able to do not reaching out to independents or democrats's to his credit, kept his base. a little crack there. >> let's not forget who inside the white house right now view
jeff sessions as a mentor. stephen miller. stephen bannon. rick dearborn also worked for jeff sessions in the senate. these are some of the president's closest advisers and they are all from the sessions wing of the party and some of them have worked with him for years and years and years and all of their political years. so they're not going to -- while they've been laying low -- >> not the ones encouraging this. >> and at the cabinet level a lot of former ceos and generals in the trump cabinet. a lot of governors. talk to them, people who speak to them, dismay and disgust. tough words how this is being handled. sit tight. continuing on this story and talking about the president's frustration with the russian invest gatien at attorney general, his son-in-law on capitol hill today facing questions. and 26 vitamins and minerals. for the strength and energy to get back to doing... ...what you love. ensure. always be you.
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has a subpoena to testify publicly tomorrow. see how that plays out. also on capitol hill a second keck tib day the president's son-in-law jared kushner meeting today with the house intelligence committee, investigating russia election meddling. yesterday on the senate side for a question and answer session and interview with the senate symbol jeps committee staff members. emerged that that session delivering a rare public statement. he stood outside theanswer pd t questions and i did nothing wrong. >> i did not collude with russia nor do i know of anyone else in the campaign who did so. i had no impopper contacts. i have knop have not relied on funds for my businesses and i have been fully transparent in prying all requested information. >> four short sentences but a lot to unpack if you look at those four sentences. said i did not collude with anyone nor know of anyone who
did. definitive sentence's see if the committee has anything contrary to that. haven't heard from him. no improper contacts. unusual. improper? see how that goes. and i have not relied on russian funds for my businesses. didn't say i have never had russian funds or have some funding from russians sources but not relied. i have been fully transparent of late, perhaps. the fact we're finding this out six months into the trump administration, especially if they did nothing wrong is one mp the disservices done to the president by his staff refusing to disclose this earlier. >> having said that, i think his approach was savvy and smart and about as well played as it could have been. >> good lawyers. >> i mean, the idea -- taking a lesson from the jim comey playbook, having a kpreeprepare statement out ahead of the meeting particularly when it's behind closed doors with staff is really important. it gives you an opportunity to set the narrative tore a
temporary period of time and get some questions and thinking around the points you've raised, not the points you've not raised, minimized. having said that, there's only so much that could be done with yesterday and with today on the hill, and as been the case throughout, congressional probes and then bob mueller's probe and questions, what does the word rely mean and the legal -- questions if you have the ability to get epails, bank records, all sorts of stuff. but the best that he can do now in terms of out-facing and public roles is to say i'm here, willing to answer questions, willing to talk and exactly what he did. >>ened the framework not speaking in the hart senate office building and the white house. white house in the background, very good public relations. good lawyers and good p.r. guys. this is, i think -- the white house certainly the folks around jared are feeling very positive about the way yesterday's gone. like, he's speaking again to the house today.
look how transparent he's being. he once to be transparent, but in every step of this investigation, publicly or what we've learned from the congressional investigation, slowly learning from the mueller investigations, there always seems to be altsds more to the story. aegray, margaret, all of the parsing of this legalese and words, probably going to learn more, and it's not over. that's something the administration, i think, has not quite groped. >> and gave his distance and really didn't exculpate other people, right? he se eacheis essentially said no idea about this meeting, didn't know the people, wanted to get out of there. that leaves behind don junior, set up the meeting, paul manafort was there. still weaving a lot of questions about other actors and players back in that june meeting. >> perhaps tomorrow we see public testimony from manafort. subpoenaed today. keep you posted. when we come back, a human
drama in the middle of a giant political drama. senator john mccain days after being diagnosed with brain cancer returns to washington as his party face as pivotal vote on health care. for your heart... your joints... or your digestion... so why wouldn't you take something for the most important part of you... your brain. with an ingredient originally found in jellyfish, prevagen is now the number one selling brain health supplement in drug stores nationwide. prevagen. the name to remember. on a perfect car, then smash it into a tree. your insurance company raises your rates. maybe you should've done more research on them. for drivers with accident forgiveness, liberty mutual won't raise your rates due to your first accident. switch and you could save $782 on home and auto insurance. call
human and political drama playing out on capitol hill. casting a vote on an important republican effort to proceed with the debate on an obamacare repeal proposal. >> i'd like to start this morning with a few words about our friend and colleague from arizona senator mccain. who will have an opportunity to be welcomed back today. as i noted last week, we all know senator mccain is a fighter. as evidenced by his remarkable life of public service, just as it is again evidenced by his quick return to the senate this afternoon. i know he's eager to get back to
work, and we're all very pleased to have him back with us today. >> our chief medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta is sonnian s sanjay, are there risks? >> they recommended take a couple of weeks before you fly. two weeks. not an exact rule here. he had a really quick recovery. his operation on july 14th, home the next day. that sort of, really, gives a sense it won't be as risky certainly to fly. the biggest concern, just so you know, is when -- this is true of any operation. that you can develop pockets of air after an operation, and with lower pressure, that air will expand. can happen after joint surgery, for example. can happen in the brain. but the doctors are not that concern and don't think there's significant amounts of air. this is how the conversation went, john.
we don't necessarily recommend this but won't get in your way either. >> let me ask you a question. maybe outside of your bounds, you're a neurosurgeon. what about the psychology? we know senator mccain wants to be in the arena. somebody with a diagnose, not a great diagnosis, not looking three, five years down the road but the here and now. how much does that play into it. >> seems almost since diagnosed, had the operation, talking about getting back to work. some people thrive more on that, no question. that's part of the reason doctors will be a little looser with guidelines and recommendations knowing how important it is to him and be actually be a part of him healing certainly psychologically. it does play a role here. it's amazing. again, not hard and fast rules on return to flying, for example, after this. i think in this case, the doctors saw the value in it. >> senator mccain's busted the rules, bent the rules a few imtoos in his life. this is no exception. dr. sanjay gupta, appreciate your insights. thank you for joining us on "inside politics." see you back here tomorrow.
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hello. i'm wolf blitzer. it's 1:00 p.m. in washington. 9:30 in kabul, afghanistan. wherever you're watching from irnd a the world, thanks very much for joining us. right now, senate republicans are in their weekly policy lunch on their plates is the big health care vote today today, and whether the majority leader mitch mcconnell can uft inner enough votes to get movement on efforts to repeal and replace obamacare. president trump has been putting pressure on congress to get a health care deal done. we're going to hear from the president around two hours from now. he's holding a joint news conference with the visiting prime minister of lebanon. the two leaders will take a limited number of questions to each. we're going to bring that news conference to you live. that's coming up. the